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They Died as Heroes in Defence of Their Homeland

Szöveg: Gábor Kálmánfi |  2013. január 17. 12:10

It’s time to learn from our national tragedies and take in our hands the shaping of our nation’s destiny, it’s time to realize national sovereignty – Tamás Vargha, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence stated at a commemoration held at the Don-Bend Memorial Chapel in Pákozd on January 12.


In his speech, Tamás Vargha recalled the events of the Don Bend. He pointed out that
after January 1943, the homeland was writhing and the bloody catastrophe was not the end
but rather the beginning of a series of further catastrophes. “At that time the fundamental
principle, idea and practice of national sovereignty had long vanished in the mist of history.
The ancestors are bound by grief, but it is not enough to mourn our dead sons and find the
mass graves to pay them the belated last honors many decades later. We have to state that the
Hungarian soldiers on those distant battlefields died as heroes not only for foreign interests
but also in defence of their homeland. We owe the survivors who were crippled in body
and soul at least the reparation to let them know that they served their homeland with their
sacrifice", the State Secretary said.

In his commemorative speech, Diocesan Bishop Antal Spányi said that today we remember
several hundreds of thousands of soldiers and those millions who shared their fate through
suffering in heart. “Prayer heals the wounds, gives peace and opens the door of Heaven
to those arriving before God. Let us pray that the sacrifice, heroism and example would
never disappear, and that thereby we ourselves know what we own this country, how we
are committed to this nation", the bishop said. Zoltán Bobory, the chairman of the Don
Comrades’ Association gave a welcome speech, in which he said that by building the Don
Bend Memorial Chapel they performed an unforgettable, irrevocable act which was a wake-
up call.


By tradition, the Don Bend Memorial Medal was presented in this year to the community
that had done a lot to keep the memory of the 2nd Hungarian Army alive during the year. This
year’s recipient was the 457th ‘Ottokár Prohászka’ Scouts, whose representatives took over
the memorial medal from Tamás Vargha. After an ecumenical commemoration of the historic
churches, Tamás Vargha, Antal Spányi and Péter Róth, the vice-mayor of Székesfehérvár laid
wreaths in memory of the soldiers who had died as heroes at the Don Bend.

Photos by the author